Film: 1974

Media | 1930 | Silent | B/W


A short film about the different people and processes involved in producing newsreels.

Intertitle: 'some Picture People, whose names you do not often hear and whose faces you seldom see, the News Reel producers; and how they work night and day in search of news, depending on 'newspaper headlines, telephones, and that marvellous invention the tape machine'.

Scissors cut around a small article in a newspaper, its headline reading 'Jean: Day Ahead'. Another cutting is dropped onto a pile, its headline saying 'Lord Horder Thinks Diets 'Too Popular'; other cuttings are dropped on top: 'frontier Gangs Routed By British', '… Says Of killer, … Mad - I Can't Forgive', 'A Tube Killed Flirtation Walk'. A man with a pencil moustache, and wearing spectacles, speaks on the telephone, facing us. Closer shots showing a telephone conversation between two men. A telegram tape machine moves backwards and forwards.

Intertitle: 'These eyes are ever on the watch for news that comes tapping through'.
Intertitle: A close-up of a man's eyes moving about. 'What is that? Disaster in Kent. An aeroplane has crashed into the hillside. That has pictorial news value'.
A shaft of light illuminates part of a print-out about the crash.

Intertitle:'The strip of news is torn off and given to the Editor, who immediately 'phones the camera-man describing the nature of the event'.
An editor sitting at a desk in front of us is handed a sheet of paper from the left, which he reads, before leaning over to a telephone on his desk and speaking into it. The cameraman's head leans forward, as he picks up a phone, listens and speaks. The editor speaks at his desk, glancing back over his sheet. The cameraman finishes the conversation and puts down the phone.

Intertitle: 'Within a few seconds he is taking his magazines of film to a waiting car - and they are off!'
We follow the cameraman right through a gate, carrying several magazines of film, to a parked, black car, where a sound engineer meets him and puts the magazines inside, while the cameraman walks round the front of the car to the front passenger seat; once they are both inside, the car drives forward. A low, ground-level view of the car moving away from us along a road, probably early in the morning.

Intertitle: 'At the scene of the crash they film a story which will be on every cinema screen within a few hours'.
The cameraman is silhouetted against the sky; we swing down to the sound engineer, wearing headphones, adjusting at a control panel. The cameraman beside the camera looks past us, then turns it to face us directly. A view moving rightwards over the wreckage. The cameraman moves the camera so that it points to the left on the picture, almost side-on to us. Another view moving rightwards over the wreckage, following first one policeman, then another. Looking down at the sound engineer, from the cameraman's raised position, we see him salute. The cameraman takes down magazines of film from his camera.

Their car approaches us along a road. It moves away from us.

Intertitle: 'Back at the laboratories - we see the film coming off the developing machines'.
The 35 mm film runs off a machine to beyond the bottom of the picture.

Intertitle: 'now screened for the Editor and his associates to look for the best parts for your interest'.
Two rows of viewers sit in the dark, side-on to us. The projectionist.

Intertitle: 'In the cutting rooms the film is again projected and the commentary added in the sound recorders' booth'.
A view over the right shoulder of a man wearing 'editing gloves' (white cotton ones) cutting and splicing the film . A man in a bow-tie facing us reads from a script, then turns round to a man in the background who signals his approval. Two men work at editing the film, one on the right standing, holding the film, and the other seated with the moviola, cutting it.
The two rows of viewers now face us, with the projector flickering above them.

To request more details on this film, please contact us quoting Film number 1974.